Oyster is an interesting new book discovery site that, like Netflix for digital video, offers subscribers access to a multitude of book titles (100,000 and counting) for a monthly subscription fee of $9.95. (But keep reading for your link to a free month’s trial!)
That’s a LOT of access for $9.95 a month. At the present, readers can only access Oyster on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch (iOS 7+), and the company has no plans at this time to make the app accessible to Kindle or Android users. But that still leaves you with a potential 300 million plus users
Oyster partners with publishers to make their content available on their all-in-one service. Currently, their library includes titles from HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Rodale, Open Road, Melville House, Workman, Algonquin, Smashwords, and many others. So, how can you include your book on Oyster?
If your publisher isn’t hooked up with Oyster yet, you can have them visit the Publisher FAQ link at https://www.oysterbooks.com/help/publisher-faq.
For you independent authors out there, Oyster does not work directly with authors. However, they do have a partnership with Smashwords. Which means even as an indie author, you can still include your book on Oyster. If you are an indie author who is working with Smashwords, Oyster says, “We’d love to have your titles on Oyster and we encourage you to reach out to them (Smashwords) to ensure that is the case.”
As far as getting paid goes, the Oyster Publisher FAQ explains, “We’ve worked hard to create a sustainable business model that provides value to readers while providing attractive economics to publishers and authors. In order to deliver readers the best content, Oyster has direct agreements with publishers and aggregators, to whom Oyster regularly makes payments based on how often their books are read on Oyster. These companies then pay authors based on the specific agreements they have with their authors.”
The reporting of payments is then built to easily flow through to standard publishing royalty statements and financial systems without any incremental effort required of publishers.
For readers, Oyster provides an enjoyable reading experience, including the ability to choose the look (background and typeface) for your reading. They also offer book discovery through recommendations, and of course the social aspect of sharing what you’ve read and rating it (which of course as an author can mean more recommendations of your book to others!). Learn more at Oyster’s Features page.
Want to check ’em out and see if your book needs a presence here? Oyster is currently offering all new users a 30-day free trial. You can join today and start reading here.
We’re interested to hear your thoughts on this new technology and how it will impact an author’s bottom line…